There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
The Distraction of Dormancy? Yes, Dormancy. God has created a world of seasons and cycles. Some seasons are fun and hold new beginnings. Some seasons are times of rest, and other seasons bring dormancy and death. Reread the scripture from Ecclesiastes 3: “there is a season for every activity under heaven.” It makes me think about our spiritual walk. Are there seasons that we experience in our relationship with Christ?
Seasons remind me of my grandmother who loved to garden. She had one of those houses on a corner lot that people drove by, just to see her garden! I remember as a young girl, loving to walk through her garden and just smelling the wonderful fragrances of the different flowers and being in awe of the beauty of the colors and blossoms, eating the juicy grapes in the summer and picking the apples from her tree in the fall.
One sunny fall day, I remember visiting her and looking forward to going out into her garden. However, in Michigan, in late October, I was not surrounded by beautiful fragrant blossoms or succulent fruit. The rose bushes looked like, dry twigs. I couldn’t see any flowers as many of them were cut down to the ground. The apple tree had already lost its leaves for the winter and the grape vines appeared withered and dried up. As a little girl, I was shocked and ran into the kitchen crying, “Grandma, what happened to your garden?” She took my hand and walked me outside to the garden. With the wisdom of a grandmother she pointed out each part of the garden.
First she took me to the rose bushes and the grapevine. She lovingly explained that without pruning back the beautiful leafy branches each year, the fruit would get smaller in size and fewer in number. She explained that the roses needed this time to work on rooting themselves deeper into the ground to gain the nourishment for the beauty in the spring. Without pruning the branches back, the branches would grow long but the fruit would be small and pithy during the next season. She pointed out each flower and fruit, and lovingly explained the need for weeding, cutting back, fertilizing, in order to prepare for the beauty to come in the spring.
Isn’t that what our heavenly Father desires from us?
Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” John 15:5 Apart from Him you can do nothing?
Ask yourself: To be able to blossom and produce Godly fruit; what do you need to do?
Do you need to fertilize your roots with God’s word? Some of the ways we can accomplish this is by feasting on the Word of our Lord for pure growth and connection to our loving Savior. Through personal prayer and devotion time, our roots can grow deep, allowing our branches to grow strong. Thus our blossoms and fruit will be rich and full, portraying the beauty of our God-given gifts.
Do you need to weed or prune? Weeding and pruning are completely different processes. Weeding is removing those unimportant activities or things which distract us from doing God’s will. Pruning is looking at viable activities and taking some of them off our plate.
Do you need to be reseeded? This is where we connect to others. Connecting with others can help us grow. Growth through prayer and encouragement can support us in times of joys and challenges. It is through these connections that we are re-energized as we seek to serve in the areas God has called us to serve.
As you enter these 40 days of Lent, ask God to reveal what season you are facing at this time?
Harvest? Pruning? Weeding? Reseeding?
Are you tending your spiritual garden so that you’re growing in your relationship with Christ? This will allow your gifts to develop and help you avoid stagnation and dormancy.
Help me as I try to determine which season I am facing right now. Open my heart to ways in which I can seek Your guidance and support. For my heart’s desire is to grow closer to You and allow my fruit to flourish in the world you have placed me. As I walk through this 40 days in preparation for Easter, help me to identify my season and cultivate the garden of my spirit. Amen